Ailing Chargers Big Dogs again
Before the Internet arrived that usually meant waiting for Thursdays paper, opening the sports section and then looking for the smallest print on the page, chalk full of information that had already changed. It most certainly would change again by kickoff but by then most peoples picks were already submitted anyway.
It added suspense to pre-Game shows early Sunday morning, helping make Terry Bradshaw look intelligent as he revealed who was really not going to play, but it was difficult to benefit from the late-breaking info spouted by the talking heads.
Technology, and the high-pressure demands of fantasy owners, has made injury info much more precise. But in preparation for this Sundays Conference Final between the San Diego Chargers and New England Patriots, handicappers looking for info on the Bolts have an alternative method to seeing which players are aching. Just pull up the teams roster and throw a dart.
Reading the post-Game report from San Diegos upset win over Indianapolis in last Sundays Division Final will help explain why oddsmakers opened the line on this Game at Pats -15.
Nearly every player considered to be a key cog in San Diegos 14-2 record in 2006, their repeat as division champs in 2007 and their impressive performances in two playoff Games this year has got some sort ailment that could hamper their abilities against the dominating Pats. Combined with New England coach Bill Belichicks incurable habit each week of listing everyone on his staff from Tom Brady down to the water boy as having some type of injury, and this Game could set a record for the longest IR in league history.
In their quest for perfection, the Pats have been setting records all season long at a pace that is equal to, or above, the one Chargers running back LaDainian Tomlinson used in 2006 while he was earning honors as league MVP. Flashback to the second round of last seasons playoffs, though, when San Diego was playing host to New England as a small home favorite, and the Pats emerged victorious 24-21 thanks to Brady doing what he does best in the clutch.
San Diego was 8-0 at home before that loss, too, and while upsets of all shapes and sizes are what has made the phrase Any given Sunday such a popular one over the years in football circles, it does make the task for the Chargers seem almost insurmountable this week as the team travels across the country to Foxboro.
Early action has trimmed the line on New England just slightly but they are still listed as the largest playoff favorite in recent memory. A storm warning for the area has also chiseled the total on this Game below the 50 mark.
The NFC final between Green Bay and New York already makes for a feel-good story no matter which team wins. Brett Favre has finally figured out a way to stop writers and broadcasters from speculating on when hes going to retire and start re-focusing on what a good player he is, while Eli Manning has begun offering proof to the fact that hes not adopted.
Unfortunately, viewers will in all likelihood be forced into listening to the guys in the booth spend way too much time comparing how the winner is going to stack up to the Pats in the Super Bowl (dont they know thats what the next two weeks are for?), but it still sets up to be a good Game either way.
The Packers are listed as 7-point favorites and the Over/Under is set at 42.
Good luck this weekend betting the last multi-Game football day until August!